Gryphon Park
Ireland 2000:

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Once we made it back to the west, we headed to the Dingle Peninsula. Dingle is just north of one of the most visited tourist areas of the entire island, the Ring of Kerry. We opted to spend two days on Dingle and skip the Ring of Kerry because we wanted to see an area less touristed and had grown tired of all the driving we were doing.

On Dingle we definitely drove less as it is a small peninsula, but we didn't find the second half of what we looking for. Dingle has become a tourist destination. However, having a couple of days there allowed us to get off the beaten bath and see some very memorable sites.


Riasc is a 5th century monastic site.

Dingle Peninsula


Our search for megaliths took us off of the beaten path. Although these megaliths are only a few miles from the town of Dingle, they are down narrow, dirt farm roads with no signage. We did not encounter any other tourist on these searches.

To find these hidden sites, we needed the combination of an archeological survey for the Peninsula and an Ordinance Survey map. Ordinance Survey maps are the equivalent of the US Geological Survey maps in the US.

This carved stone was the first megalith that caught my eye from our Dingle Peninsula archeological survey book. We decided to search for it and found it in a cow pasture next to a barn, down a long dirt road. I'm completely fascinated by how these concentric circle symbols have thrived in Ireland for 4000 years. The decorative style of the Celts (who invaded the island at about 100 BC) seems to me to have been influenced over the subsequent centuries by exposure to these far more ancient symbols. Considering that little is known about the pre-Celtic culture that created these symbols, I find myself contemplating what these symbols might reflect about that culture, and in what way the unique Irish landscape may have played a part in their creation. They seem to fit perfectly with the places in which they were placed.